An acclaimed racehorse forced to retire because of bad knees is finding success as an in-demand abstract artist in a Pennsylvania gallery.
Metro Meteor, a 10-year-old thoroughbred racehorse forced to retire from the oval, has found a more genteel – and slightly lucrative - second career as a painter.
An athlete and an artist, seems Metro Meteor is quite the Renaissance man.
Slowed by bad knees, Metro Meteor was retired in 2009 and adopted by Ron and Wendy Krajewski in Rocky Ridge, Maryland.
Unable to ride the crippled horse, Ron, a local artist, decided to teach Metro to paint in order to spend more time with him and it turned out the horse was a natural.
And his work isn't sold for hay — well sort of.
With about 40 large and 150 small creations already put to canvas, Metro has sold almost $20,000 worth of his art. Bidding on one painting last week was hovering at about $800.
Metro is now the best-selling artist at Gallery 30, a small shop in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which started selling his work four months ago. The horse and owner typically paint for an hour or two, usually four times a week.
Before his injuries, Metro won eight races as a turf sprinter and was considered among the fastest at courses including Saratoga and Belmont Park.
Metro's painting style features lots of colorful, sweeping brushstrokes, complete with specks of sawdust — not surprising as the horse paints by swinging his head with his paintbrush clenched between his teeth.
"Art scholars are not going to have long lengthy discussions trying to decipher the hidden meaning to Metro's paintings. He is a horse," said Ron.
"It is what it is. A painting you can hang on your wall and tell all your friends it was painted by a horse."
Here's hoping some of the money goes to other retired horses so they can live as comfortably as Metro Meteor when they are put out to pasture.